Sunday, January 21, 2007

My brain hurts

I'm so spaced out at the moment, my head is in several places at once: the Curfew script, the Secret TV Show outline, the BBC One-Off Show outline, the script of Secret Movie Thing, and the pitch document for New Movie Thing. I feel like I've written more words in the past 2 months than the past 4 years. I'm not sleeping very well, can't stop thinking about everything when I go to bed, and I'm anxious, worried that I won't get it all finished. It's just like there's this massive *thing* looming over my head, whatever I do, wherever I go, it's there, a constant buzzing in my head saying "you're not finished, you're not finished, you haven't done that outline yet, even if you do, there's LOADS of other things to finish, these people are busy, they need you to do your part of the bargain, get on with it, you're not finished" - if I'm writing, eating, watching TV, or just walking with my iPod blaring in my ears, I can feel it, like someone has tied a Zeppelin to one ear. Whichever way I turn my head, it's just THERE.

And it's like *I'm* not there, just a hollow shell walking around and making conversation, but there's nobody inside. I keep wandering around the flat, stopping in the middle of the room, with no idea what the hell I'm doing, am I coming or going, have I just walked in, or am I heading outside, was I taking the bins out, or am I home from work, did I finish that outline, did I email that bloke, was there something else I was supposed to finish today, am I just imagining it, am I meeting those people this week or next week, if I change that subplot in the outline it might cock up the ending and mean a new one, did I add in that scene to the script or not, have I got time to finish that outline this week, or will it mean something else will be late, have I just got up or is it time for bed, have I eaten, am I hungry, what day is it, is it day or night, what is that buzzing sound, is something burning, can I concentrate on watching this TV show long enough to relax my mind, or will I just zone out and have to rewind to find out what happened, will I get any sleep tonight if I can stop my mind racing for 5 minutes, what is the nature of reality, am I even human or just a physical construct placed in a massive maze for some scientific experiment?

Don't get me wrong. I love writing. I love working on the things I'm doing. I'm just really tired and anxious. I will be so glad when I get everything finished. I'll need a break where I don't do or think anything. I wish you could just flick a switch and turn off your mind when you need to rest.

12 comments:

Lee said...

Aw. C'mon everyone, gather round. James needs a huggle.

Anonymous said...

try natracalm

Pillock said...

Sounds like you need some recreation. Have you thought of taking up kickboxing or pehaps developing a fetish of some kind? I recommend shoes. And knicker-sniffing, obviously, but that's a given.

Tim Clague said...

Be careful what you wish for. You might end up like Data from Star Trek and people flick you off when they get bored of you.

Phillip Barron said...

I think Pillock's got the right idea. No matter how much I've got on my plate, I only ever feel like that when I haven't been training (Kung Fu) for a while.

Two reasons here: 1) It's really hard to worry about the resolution of a treatment (or the size of your gas bill, or whatever) when someone's trying to kick your face off. I find it focuses the mind wonderfully. This at least gives you a break during the lesson.

2) I've studied three different martial arts and they've all had a similar message: you do one thing at a time. Prioritise things, focus on what's directly in front of you, complete it and move onto the next one.

Plus you get to punch and kick people/things.

I think Aikido was the best one for teaching me this lesson. The version I did was taught as a philosophy rather than a martial art. All of the exercises we did were based around this concept of total commitment to the task in hand.

And you get to wear a skirt.

Dan said...

You need to out-source some of that work. Plenty of Bulgarians coming in. Get them doing it, pay them minimum wage and take the lion's share for yourself. Assuming the lion doesn't mind of course. He normally just wants ten percent.

Paul said...

Three words: chocolate soy milk

Annie Rhiannon said...

Oh dear. This is how I feel about advertising, which I am currently trying to get out of to get into screenwriting. I thought once I was a writer everything would be much less stressful...

Hmmph.

James Moran said...

Annie: It should be less stressful, because you can choose how much to work at any one time. Unfortunately I chose to do too much, because I'm a bit dim sometimes (see next post for details). And hello to the first commenter from Iceland!

Annie Rhiannon said...

Hello to you too. I'm enjoying reading your blonk, my mother pointed it out to me today, in a "shouldn't you be getting on with your screenplay?" kind of way. Mine is still at the imaginary stages though.

And congrats on your success with Severance! I'm looking forward to seeing it.

I put you down as "Blonk of the Week" over at my place. I'm hoping you're going to inspire me.

Lee said...

Blonk is my new favourite word. I'm going to use it as my typing mantra. Tap-blonk-tap-blonk-tap-blonk. Thanks Annie!

James Moran said...

Hooray! Blonk of the week! Cheers Annie. And tell your mother I'm sorry about all the swearing.